By Aliyu Dangida
President Ahmed Bola Tinubu has summoned top security agencies to take all necessary measures towards recovering the N1.1trillion Anchor Borrowers fund disbursed to maize and cotton farmers by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
President Tinubu requested the security agencies to immediately recover the huge amount of government money from the defaulters on or before September 18, 2023 so as to make the cash available to genuine farmers who want safe loans for more food production.
Hotpen reports that, out of the N1.1 trillion disbursed by the CBN to the beneficiaries of the ABS since its inception, only a little above N546 billion has been repaid while a whopping balance of N577 billion remains unaccounted for.
At the meeting with security agencies in Abuja, the President was very upset when he was told that one of the CBN’s subsidiaries was among the defaulting banks, holding up vital cash that was meant for farmers to improve their production and ensure food security in the country.
President Tinubu was told that a subsidiary of the CBN and a commercial bank in the country, had diverted N255 million which they were supposed to give out to farmers and others in dire need of loans to improve their production.
Some of the beneficiaries refused to refund the loan as at when due, claiming that they did not make serious returns on their investments and needed more time to be able to pay back to the Apex Bank, not minding the terms of the deal they had earlier signed.
Many banks’ Directors and Managers had already been interrogated on the huge loans saga and that many of them had admitted to securing the said loans and the alleged breaches regarding the repayment.
“I can tell you authoritatively that we have written to all the defaulters and many bank officials have confessed of their role in the huge loan scandal and they are willing to take necessary steps to pay back the loans, We have also written to all the debtors and some of the banks, whose top managers we have already summoned and grilled, have assured us that they will refund the cash outstanding in their names on or before the September 18 deadline,” A source said.
Maize Producers Association took a loan of N39 billion from the CBN under the ABP, it has been able to refund a total of N23 billion while Cotton farmers took a loan of N14 billion and has been able to refund N5 billion so far.